Voi introduces fines for users who park e-scooters poorly across Northamptonshire

The compulsory ‘end of ride’ feature will show the company which users are not parking the scooters in a safe manner

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 2:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 2:32 pm

A new safety feature has been introduced to an e-scooter app whereby users can be fined for parking poorly across Northamptonshire.

Voi - the company behind the rentable e-scooter trials in Northampton, Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Higham Ferrers and Rushden - has launched a compulsory ‘end of ride’ photo to avoid improper parking, which creates accessibility problems and street clutter.

Prior to the launch, scooters were able to be left anywhere on the pavement, although docks have been put in place in Northampton and there are incentivised areas for safe parking across the county.

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Voi has introduced a new safety feature to encourage user to park safely. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.

The company has previously faced criticism as scooters left on pavements cause issues for pedestrians, particularly vulnerable pavement users. One mobility scooter user fell while trying to move a scooter and later died of his injuries. His death was ruled as 'accidental' by a coroner.

Now the new compulsory ‘end of ride’ photo requires users to take and submit a photo of their parked scooter after each ride, encouraging them to park their scooter correctly.

The photos will be reviewed daily by Voi’s support team and action will be taken if users do not comply with safe parking guidelines.

Users who leave e-scooters lying down on the floor, parked in a way that is obstructing the pavement and causing an obstacle to pedestrians, strollers or wheelchairs, will receive an email containing a warning.

The new in-app feature.

After the first warning, riders who park their vehicles incorrectly will have to pay a fine of £25.

Richard Corbett, Voi’s general manager for the UK, said: “Although the majority of our users tend to park their scooters properly, we want to encourage everyone to think before they park.

“The ‘end of ride photo’ is yet another measure to ensure we motivate our users to understand the way they park the scooters impacts other road users or pedestrians, particularly vulnerable people such as those with visual or mobility impairments, children and the elderly.

“We started to roll out the ‘end of ride photo’, and our data shows that in thousands of rides, only a very small minority of users had to be fined and that those who were fined have only been so once.

“Despite the small number of non-compliant riders, we have seen a 70 percent improvement in good parking behaviour with the introduction of this new feature.

“This indicates that people pay more attention to the way they park if a clear deterrent, such as a fine, is used to discourage them from inappropriate parking behaviour.”

The e-scooter company is also planning to continue to invest in education, reporting tools such as Captur or Voi’s Report-A-Scooter page, in-app features and other long term solutions such as parking racks or painted parking spaces that can change parking behaviour and increase accessibility for all.

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